The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ambika Soni, has said that the Ministry could not put in place a regulatory framework for mobile TV service due to non-availability of adequate spectrum in UHF Band V (585-698 MHz), which is required for running mobile tv services. In response to a question in the Parliament, by MPs Supriya Sule and Dr Sanjeev Ganesh Naik, Soni informed that Doordarshan has been carrying out mobile television services as a pilot project in Delhi since May 2007. Mobile TV signals can be received on DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld) enabled mobile phones within a range of about 10 km from Akashvani Bhawan,Parliament Street, New Delhi where the transmitter is located. The transmission features 16 TV channels from Doordarshan.
Last year, I&B Secretary, Raghu Menon had informed that the Ministry was engaged in laying down a suitable regulatory framework for private players to provide Mobile TV services, and that issues related to spectrum identification within the recommended band, determination of service area licences and the number of providers, were under discussion, along with the recommendations made by the TRAI. The TRAI had recommended that mobile and UAS licensees should also be allowed to bid for mobile TV licenses. However, we did not hear from the government on the issue, post that update.
According to the Minister, the Ministry had estimated that at least 96 MHz spectrum would be required for Mobile TV services on a pan India basis. However, according to India Remarks (IND 37) in the National Frequency Allocation Plan 2011, the requirement of spectrum for Doordarshan’s digitalization programme and Mobile TV services are to be met in the UHF Band V (585-698 MHz), out of which Doordarshan has already projected a requirement of 64 MHz in the frequency band for its digitalization programme, leaving the available spectrum for mobile TV services far below the requirement.